Abstracts

Here you can read the visual abstracts of the papers presented as talks or posters during the conference.

Borbély, Anna
Research Centre for Multilingualism, RIL-HAS

Social, cultural and linguistic landscape in Kétegyháza in the beginning of the 21st century

In my paper I will present the social, cultural and linguistic landscape of a multilingual settlement of Hungary (Kétegyháza, Békés County). The photos I will present were taken with digital camera during the 3rd data collection of the longitudinal research Variability and change: Research on language shift in real and apparent time – 1990–2010 (OTKA K 81574 – RIL HAS). My aim is to describe the visual manifestations of a community where different social groups and diverse cultures and language communities live together, side by side. In addition to the inscriptions in various languages (place name, the inscriptions of institutions etc.) the visibility of ethnic groups, social classes and even the vitality of the community can be detected in this village. Finally, as a result of the social and political changes, I will show the legacy of the traditional past into a modern life and the influences of globalization, as well as how an old internationalist symbol can be transformed to a new local memorial.

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Csernicskó, István
Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute

The Ephemeral History of Transcarpathia in the Linguistic Landscape

The area of today’s Transcarpathia belonged to several countries in the last 100 years. The change of countries and power always meant change in language policy, as well. The historical transiency of the region, political and language changes can be traced on the linguistic landscape of the area. The presentation describes the linguistic landscape in a wider sense, particularly it deals with the photos and documents presenting transiency of political profile and state language during the 20th century.

The collection of photos and documents contains very interesting pieces, like the picture showing the building of the main administration in Uzhgorod/Ungvár. On the frontispiece of the governing hall the Czech (Slovak) and Rusyn/Ukrainian inscription is still there, but the Hungarian tricolour is being let down from the window of the first floor.

Based on similar photos the history/story of linguistic landscape of the region can be drawn in the last 100 years.

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Ferenc, Viktória
Research Institute for Hungarian Communities Abroad

Linguistic landscape (LL) in a higher education establishment – case study of the visual language use of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute

Investigating the language-in-education practices of Hungarian education beyond the borders is a deservedly important topic among linguistic researches since the language of instruction has several functions. A language applied as a medium of education transmits knowledge: lectures regardless of their topic are always hold in a certain language, in the process of individual learning special literature is always available in a concrete language, during exams competences are tested in a selected language. Nevertheless the language use of the symbolic area is also being crucial part of the language-in-education practices.

Inscriptions in educational establishments play not only functional (communicative) roles, but also have symbolic significance. By the emplacement of inscriptions in the minority language, using bilingual blanks for documentation a Hungarian educational establishment signals the presence of Hungarian-speaking students and teachers. On the one hand, using Hungarian language alongside with the state language gives the possibility to speakers of using their own mother tongue, while on the other hand, the practice can encourage a consistent minority language use in other kind of official domains.

In my paper I will focus on the linguistic landscape of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute based on photos taken in and outside the building. Based on the gathered data it can be stated that Hungarian paired bilingualism is typical in the LL of the institute; however monolingual signs both in the minority language and in the state language are also part of the LL, and inscriptions in foreign languages are also observable. In my presentation elements of the LL will be catalogued according to definite aspects, and the question whether the elements of LL fits to a coherent institutional language policy is going to be answered.

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Heltai, Borbála Éva
Eötvös Loránd University

Linguistic landscape in a village with German, Finnish, Hungarian and Roma residents

In parallel with the functional decline of minorities’ language varieties, new structures of linguistic and social diversity appear in contemporary Hungary. Since the change of the political system in 1989, an increasing number of foreigners have bought houses in small Hungarian villages and start to live there, triggering changes in the linguistic, cultural and economic life of these settlements. Geresdlak in Baranya county is such a village. Most of its inhabitants are members of German historical minority but there is also a smaller number of Hungarian and Roma residents. Furthermore, some Finnish and German citizens have recently bought houses here, and they spend several months in the community each year influencing – among other aspects of language use – the linguistic landscape of the village. In my present lecture, I will examine data from my fieldwork carried out in the village since 2009.

The complex system of public signs and texts in Hungarian and other languages on display in the village gives us a colourful picture of the special linguistic situation of the community. One part of the non-Hungarian texts is related to the traditions of the German minority (German inscriptions on statues), while another part refers to the institutional forms of the German minority’s actual presence (inscriptions on the walls of the municipality and the school). The more recent German texts have practical functions (signposts and information material). The presence of texts in Finnish is a sign of the quality of interethnic relations (bilingual street plate, signs referring to the sister towns). At the same time, the appearance of Hungarian texts on the foreigners’ houses gives a new function to the official language as well.

These randomly listed examples show that the public inscriptions and plates tell a lot about the differing status, functions and related values of language variations and about the interethnic relations of the village. Analysing the system of these texts, I will try to explain how the linguistic diversity of public spaces influences the speakers’ linguistic consciousness and opinions, which – of course – closely relates to their every-day communication.

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Ilić, Marija(1)–Sandra Buljanović(2)
(1) Institute for Balkan Studies Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, Belgrade
(2) Department of Hungarian Language and Literature Philological Faculty, University of Belgrade

Hungarian in the linguistic landscape of Serbia: A comparison between Belgrade, Pančevo and Debeljača

In this paper we would like to present the visibility of the Hungarian language within the linguistic landscape of Serbia by comparing three settlements which are located in close proximity. Namely, we would like to compare the visibility of Hungarian in the Serbian capital Belgrade (0.15% of city’s population claims to be of Hungarian origin), the city of Pančevo in the Banat region (comprising around 4.25% Hungarians, living mainly in Vojlovica – Magy. Hertelendyfalva – part of the city inhabited by Hungarians and Slovaks) and the village of Debeljača also in the Banat region (Magy. Torontálvásárhely; Hungarians make more than 53% of the population). The hypothesis we would like to prove is that in Belgrade the Hungarian language is invisible, in Pančevo it is only marginally represented, while on the other side, in settlements with the majority of Hungarian inhabitants it stands equally alongside Serbian. Our research is based mainly on the results obtained in situ by the method of visual anthropology and combined with participant observation and interviews with members of the local community, i.e. members of the Hungarian minority and/or the users of Hungarian language.

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Laihonen, Petteri
University of Jyväskylä/Academy of Finland; Research Centre for Multilingualism, RIL-HAS (visiting researcher)

The Linguistic Landscape (LL) of villages in Southern Slovakia, Szeklerland (Romania) and Transcarpathia (Ukraine): An expansion of the sociolinguistic descriptions and an analysis of visual code-choice.

A general overview of the LLs of six villages and a comparison of the results with previous sociolinguistic descriptions is presented. An examination of one Hungarian dominant and one bilingual village in Southern Slovakia, Szeklerland and Transcarpathia is carried out.

The visual use of Hungarian is significantly less common in Southern Slovakia than in the other two regions. In the village with an overwhelming Hungarian majority, the majority of the signs have monolingual Slovak inscriptions, Hungarian is used as a peripheral code in bilingual signs. Occasional monolingual Hungarian signs can be found on the fences of private homes. The bilingual village in Slovakia is undergoing language shift, even private signs are typically in Slovak only.

In Szeklerland and Transcarpathia patterns and distribution of spoken language choice are broadly reflected in the LL. That is, where spoken communication is carried out in Hungarian, there Hungarian is dominant in the LL, too. In the case of bilingual villages, the LL indicates a stable bilingual community. This can be partly explained through the place of Hungarian in the repertoires of the village inhabitants and through its prominent situation in the hierarchies of languages in the bilingual communities in Szeklerland and Transcarpathia. A description of the LL should be included in the accounts of the general language situation of Hungarian paired minorities, since patterns of visual language use at times show systematic differences to patterns of spoken code choice.

Finally, some examples of emblematic sign genres are discussed. The genres represent typical monolingual state language inscriptions and autonomous Hungarian signs as well as bilingual signs in the examined villages.

A private monolingual Hungarian street name and house number made of wood, Mezőkaszony/ Koson. Hungarian dominant village in Transcarpathia (Ukraine).

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Lastić, Pera(1)–Marija Ilić(2)
(1) Serbian Institute
(2) Institute for Balkan Studies Serbian Academy of Science and Arts

Serbian in the linguistic landscape of Hungary: roads, streets and civic spaces

The paper focuses upon the visibility of Serbian in the linguistic landscape of Hungary, and particularly with regard to roads, streets and civic spaces. For the purpose of the research we used several methods: survey, participant observation, visual anthropology. The survey is a questionnaire-based. Namely, we composed a questionnaire which consists of several sections: settlements in and around, schools, churches and graveyards, administrative language use, newspapers and media. The questionnaire was disseminated to officials in the Serbian local and regional self-governments as well as to local authorities. It aimed at collecting facts and personal attitudes to Serbian language use and its visibility. The survey results are supplemented by photographs and participant observation. In this paper, we attempt to create a relationship between facts, values, and attitudes regarding the visual (and factual) presence of Serbian in Hungary. We would like to emphasize that this research of Serbian in the linguistic landscape of Hungary is the first of its kind.

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Lehocki-Samardžić, Anna
J. J. Strossmayer University

A Comparison of the Language Reflection in Osijek and Bilje

Osijek and Bilje, both situated in Osijek-Baranya County, are only 5 kilometres apart. The Hungarians are minorities in both settlements, which has had a great impact on the use of the Hungarian language. The use of the Hungarian language has been repressed and this has had strong influence on the language reflection. Every year, the Educational and Cultural Centre of Hungarians in Croatia and the Hungarian Language and Literature Department, which operate in Osijek, have fewer Hungarian-speaking pupils. Nevertheless, bilingual panels can be found at the school and department entrance. In the Croatian language teaching primary school in Bilje, where a Hungarian mother tongue nurturing programme exists, the majority of the pupils are Croatian-speaking children.

In both settlements, a lot of misspelling on the panels written in Hungarian language can be noticed. In many cases, the Hungarian names are written in Croatian (the name of a street found on a billboard in Osijek: Šandora Petefija), which is interesting because, according to one of the fundamental grammar rules of the Croatian language, proper names that originate from a foreign language are left in the original. This is the case because many Hungarians do not live their constitutional rights and fewer Hungarian families choose to enrol their children in Hungarian schools. The use of Croatian orthography for panels written in Hungarian could cause language shifting, which is evident in the street names of both settlements (Ulica Košuta Lajoša). The decline of the Hungarian language’s rating and position as opposed to the Croatian language and other international languages, leads to the fact that fewer people write correctly in Hungarian today and their vocabulary has impoverished because of the selective language use. For instance, at the exit of a shopping centre in Osijek, the sign Viszont látásra can be found.

I would like to present the above-described situation concerning language used on panels found in Osijek and Bilje and analyse them through my presentation.

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Lulić, Emil

The Linguistic Landscape of a promenade in Novi Sad

Novi Sad (Нови Сад), the second largest city in Serbia and the centre of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is a distinctly multicultural area, which may attribute its linguistic variety to not only its geographical setting, but also its rich history. During the past century it was consecutively incorporated into several countries, and became home to several ethnicities. All these factors have deeply impacted the demography, and the language of the city itself.

A captivating example of this diversity is the Danube Street (Дунавска улица), one of two promenades of the city centre. Stretching through the very heart of the city, it is strolled by thousands of people each day: schoolchildren, university students, businessmen, tourists, pensioners, beggars... While it may seem on the fly, that within the city only Serbian language is used, if you listen closely, you may hear an occasional English, German, or even a few Hungarian words. This diversity is not only apprehendable to the careful listener! Throughout the street, along with the majorly Serbian signs, you may find scattered some foreign ones, too.

Following the method conceived by Rodrigue Landry and Richard Bourhis, I set out one fine, spring day, to map all the signs readable throughout this most beautiful promenade of Novi Sad, trying to draw conclusions from them. I charted the Danube Street from its beginning at the Jovan Jovanović Zmaj Street, all to the Danube river, encompassing both the pedestrian promenade and also the part of the street adjacent to the Danube Park open to motor traffic, mapping all the visible signs.

An integral part of my research is comprised of mapping the positive legal instruments relevant to the usage of different languages in Novi Sad, and a brief summary of the most important stages of the city’s history, all in favour of presenting a thoroughgoing picture of the linguistic customs of the area.

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Misad, Katalin
Comenius University

The visual use of the Hungarian language in Dunaszerdahely

Dunaszerdahely is a town and administrative center in southern Slovakia with a majority population of Hungarians (who constitute the largest minority group of the country). Its linguistic landscape has been investigated in various studies in recent years: some of the research was aimed at studying where monolingual vs. bilingual signage appears, while other studied focused on the language contact phenomena occurring in the Hungarian part of signage.

This presentation discusses, on the basis of semiotic characteristics of signage, those factors of visual language use which indicate the proportions of the use of Slovak vs. Hungarian in signage, as well as point at the minority language status of Hungarian. The effective laws of Slovakia precisely regulate what order, form and space majority vs. minority language text can appear in signage. Further regulations shaping the linguistic landscape will also be discussed, as will the opinions of Dunaszerdahely residents regarding their language rights concerning visual language use.

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Satinská, Lucia
Ľ. Štúr Institute of Linguistics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Visibility of Hungarian in Today’s Bratislava

How visible is Hungarian in Bratislava? The paper presents current visual representation of Hungarian in the capital of Slovakia, where 14 119 Hungarians live (according to the latest census 2011). Presumably, there are more Hungarians present in the daily life of Bratislava, as many people from Csallóköz commute to Bratislava to study or work. There are several uses of Hungarian in the linguistic landscape of Bratislava. Firstly, there are historically motivated memorial plaques, statue descriptions and other inscriptions on historical buildings etc. Secondly, (non)commercial signs aimed at Hungarians from Slovakia (political and cultural institutions, shops, services…) and thirdly signs in tourist area aimed predominantly at tourists from Hungary. The paper aims not only to map these signs but also to describe the communication strategies behind the signs used for different audiences.

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Szabó, Tamás Péter
Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Aspects of Schoolscape Research in Hungary

The linguistic environment of formal education (ie. Schoolscape) is determined not only by laws and local regulations, but by the linguistic practices of the given institution as well. Inscriptions and cultural symbols placed on the façade and the walls of the school building are tools for orienting the choice between various cultural and linguistic values and ideologies – as Norris Brock Johnson, Elana Shohamy, Shoshi Waksman and Petteri Laihonen have already demonstrated.

In school buildings, a dynamic and object-mediated negotiation of norms, controled by the communities learning and teaching in the building, is detectable. Objects placed by the directorate of the institution (e. g. the coat of arms and the flag of Hungary, the text of the national anthem, etc.) and other elements such as notice boards and tableaux – bought, or made by teachers or students themselves – exhibit and offer a wide range of cultural and linguistic norms, while transgressive signs as graffities can be interpreted as a manifestation of contestation. Tableaux for pedagogical purposes such as visual summaries of grammar or natural science topics play a central role in the above mentioned norm negotiation, because they can be used for the regulation of classroom discourses, displaying and visualizing the most important scientific, political and religious ideologies disseminated by the given institution. As an illustration for this process, I show a tableau from the corridor of an elementary school which is used for the scheduling of group talks for children aged 6 to 11, targeting the most important values of life, moderated by a teacher. The title of the tableau is ‟Values to achieve”, and such values are written to each petal of the flower. We can read keywords like ’friendliness’, ’peace’, ’telling the truth’, ’tolerance’, ’helping people’, ’love’, and others.

I started a pilot study in 2013 in schools in Hungary, collecting data with a so-called tourist guide technique. That is, during the photography of signs, I interviewed a teacher guiding me through the building. My teacher guide made explanations on the choice of language, quotes, and other symbols. That is, the fieldworker and the interviewee co-construct ideologies on the environment. This is a kind of co-exploration, because certain researcher perspectives can enlighten hidden and implicit policies and ideologies of the school communities for the insider, while the researcher can take new insights from an insider angle with theoretical or methodological relevance to his or her studies.

The collected interview materials can be used for the investigation of local, national and global identites, values and ideologies emerging during conversation. The analyis follows the methods and theoretical implications of Discursive Social Psychology, Language Ideology and Conversation Analysis studies. As an innovation, using simultaneous picture and CA analysis, my study places the language and cultural policies of the investigated institutions, and the reception of these policies, into a wider and a more complex research context.

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Szabómihály, Gizella
Constantine the Philosopher University; Gramma Language Office

The linguistic landscape of Southern Slovakia: The actors shaping the linguistic landscape and the types of bilingual signage

The linguistic landscape of Southern Slovakia where the country’s Hungarian minority population lives has been traditionally dominated by the Slovak language, however, the range of Hungarian language signage has been on the increase recently. The most important actors shaping the linguistic landscape are the state (administration), local governments, the business sphere, and the civil sphere. Of these actors, it is primarily local governments of towns and villages with a local majority Hungarian population which have made attempts to ensure that Hungarian language signage is used within the possibilities provided by legislation (and sometimes even beyond them). As a result of the activity of local governments, several types of new bilingual signage have appeared: e.g. signs about the location of various sights and institutions, the name of the given place (or street) at bus stops etc.

Shop signs (grocery, convenience store, hairdresser, flower shop etc.) put up by local businesses constitute another, very common type of signs. These often include a specific mixture of two languages: a shop name which is neutral as far as Slovak and Hungarian are concerned (e.g. a foreign name, or a name which is written in the same way in the two languages) and the designation (e.g. cake shop or grocery) given in both languages.

The state’s influence on the linguistic landscape is manifested in defining the legal context – outside of this, institutions of state administration play a passive role: they provide signage in Hungarian (i.e. bilingual signage) only when they are bound by law to do so. As far as the civil sphere is concerned, a new phenomenon has occurred in recent years: the activization of Slovakia Hungarians, unseen in previous years. Activists have started to draw attention to the absence of the visual presence of Hungarian in a range of atypical ways.

In sum, the amount of Hungarian signage has visibly increased in Southern Slovakia in recent years – but, unfortunately, only in places where the Hungarian population constitutes the local majority.

Signpost in Bős (Gabčíkovo). Source: the database of Forum Minority Research Institute

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Szoták, Szilvia
Imre Samu Linguistic Institute

Linguistic Landscape in Hungarian inhabited Burgenland region

Visual signs may represent the power and status of a language. They have an influence on linguistic behavior as well as on language use (Cenoz & Gorter 2006: 68). It is even more interesting to study the linguistic landscape in a multilingual context, ie. in a majority-minority situation. Linguistic landscape provides information on the sociolinguistic context, what is more, the usage of different languages on signs gives an opportunity to make a comparison between the official language politics of the given country and the actual practice observed through surveys and fieldwork. By studying the linguistic landscape we can examine the influence of official language politics along with language ideologies which have an impact on the individual as well as on the minority community itself. I performed my research on a settlement located in South Burgenland, called Alsóőr, in the Spring of 2013. On the one hand, I investigate sings in the context of the history and vitality of the Hungarian minority as well as the measures taken according to the language politics of the country, and on the other hand, following a recent trend, I explore the language choice of signage in the framework of Language Ideologies. In my presentation I describe my fieldwork experiences, too.

Cenoz, Jasone & Durk Gorter: Linguistic landscape and minority languages. In: Durk Gorter (ed.), Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, 2006. 67–80.

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Takács, Izabella–Éva Vukov Raffai
University of Novi Sad

The research topics of linguistic landscape in Subotica

This presentation deals with the research of Hungarian linguistic landscape in Vojvodina. According to the 19th paragraph of the act regarding Serbia’s official language and writing system on territories where the national minority languages are also in public use, all public signs should be written in those minority languages as well. The realization of this act is supervised by the Hungarian National Council’s Language Use Committee.

Regarding the topic of linguistic landscape, the region of Vojvodina is in a unique position, since public signs are diverse from various aspects: they appear in more languages and in two writing systems. On various public places besides the Serbian signs appearing in Cyrillic and Latin writing systems the Croatian and Hungarian as well as occasionally English signs also appear. The analysis of the linguistic landscape provides the opportunity to investigate the relationship between the aim of the sign and their modes of codification, to narrow down the addressee visualized by the sender, to raise certain questions regarding the identity and viewpoint coded through the writing system and language choice.

Monolingual or multilingual public signs provide valuable information regarding the linguistic balance of communities in question, besides their use results various linguistic decisions and attitudes among others in their surface division. Bilingualism or, to be specific, asymmetrical bilingualism as well as focusing on phenomena of the ‘two in one’ type of monolingualism one of our goals is to analyze the narrow and wider parts of the Subotica’s town center. In addition, we also investigate the public administration institutions which are concerned with language issues, including the analysis of private and state companies’ public signs. The present research also pays attention to the proportion, role and spelling solutions of official and individual (informative) types of signs.

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Tódor, Erika-Mária
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania

Schoolscape and bilingual life

The term schoolscape refers to the totality of visual phenomena, like notice boards, tableaux, displays, teaching materials, maps, building signs, marks, etc. that can be found within the space of a school. These reflect the life and communication needs of the social environment, as articulated in a certain period of time. In turn this ‘schoolscape’ also has an effect on the school community.

The school space is an interactive, dynamically changing system therefore the language use that visually appears is one of the representational forms of co-existence. The linguistic configuration of the educational scene is essentially part of the “hidden curriculum” of the given pedagogical space and at the same time it faithfully reflects the more or less conscious language ideology of the institution and its maintainer.

The schoolscape of minority schools is colourful and marked with diversity. One can easily identify what makes the institution choose one or another language as a medium for certain signs and messages, but the inner causes of this act are very much connected to history, culture, policy and politics at the same time.

In the present paper I would like to offer access to the basic findings of my research carried out earlier this year. The aim of the study was to analyse the schoolscape as the part of the life-world of a mainly monolingual minority community. The fieldwork was carried out in public schools in Csíkszentdomokos (Sândominic, Romania). In order to gain a deeper understanding of the schoolscape phenomenon, I applied focus group discussions, interviews and classroom observations. At the same time I created an inventory of the schoolscape’s visual elements.

Based on the data gained during the fieldwork, I would like to focus on the main characteristics of the linguistic visual schoolscape, drawing a draft framework of role and effects of local and regional identities and self-esteem as reflected in the schoolscape. I will also discuss the use of different languages as practiced in the formal, educational and organisational space of the schools studied. In the second part of my presentation I intend to present and interpret the customs in language use in school administration illustrating how bilingual phenomena can be identified in a mainly monolingual context, how conscious these language situations are and how the speakers themselves evaluate them.

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Tóth, Judit Gabriella
Corvinus University of Budapest

Representation of Vend landscape in Kétvölgy

Kétvölgy is a part of Szentgotthárd region populated by 122 inhabitants, of which approximately 90% declare Sloven identity and speak the local dialect called Vend. The settlement has existed since the union of Permise (Verica) and Ritkaháza (Ritakrovci) under the name of Vashegyalja in 1944, which was changed to its present name in 1951.

The Vend living in Kétvölgy belong to those minorities which have avoided assimilation through different strategies such as endogamy and cultural practices. The settlement is characterized by the use of Slovenian language which appears not only in verbal interaction but at all community levels of communication. Identity and langauge maintenance is guaranteed by Slovenian education of young generations and the presence of native language users in sacral communication as well as family socialization.

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